Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spectacular Crash

Spectacular Crash A little bruise can't keep me down

@anhphl: Bruised tush & ego after wiping out in a rainy descent during @BreakawayBikes Shop Ride today. Should be back pedaling in a few days.

How did it happen? Seven of us got caught up in a heavy rain. Five riders were ahead of me. The assistant ride leader Montana was behind me. We were going down on a small hill and the road was slightly curving to the right. I felt I was in total control and was going no faster than 20 mph. Bam! I fell down and got separated from my bike. My right palm, hip, and shoe touched the road surface and slide down the hill for about 15 yards. My crash caused Montana to crash as well. As my body came to a stop, I looked back and saw Montana sliding toward me, seemingly in slow motion.
Once I got over the shock, I started feeling pain on my right hip. I got up and was happy to see that my bike short was intact. By this time, other riders came around to help. The ride leader Todd picked up my bike and tested it. My bike was fine. Other riders helped to pick up the content of my bento box that got scattered on the road. My Garmin Forerunner 610 got quick-released and I found it a few feet away.

I didn't want to cause anymore delays so I quickly ignored my pain and got back on the saddle. I couldn't pedal much with my ride side for a while as my right hip hurt too much with each rotation. I knew I was slowing down the group ride so I tried my best to push through. My right quad then cramped up. We were still 15 miles away from Center City and I thought about stopping. Luckily, the cramp went away, and the course become mostly flat. I pedaled with the group until we reached West River Drive.

I came home 5 hours after I left. I was exhausted and in pain, and couldn't wait to go on another ride again.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

20in24 Back On My Feet Ultramarathon

I was a pacer at the 2012 20in24 Back On My Feet Ultramarathon. I ran / walked about 40 miles while having the time of my life!
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Monday, July 02, 2012

Philadelphia Triathlon 2012 Race Report

I occasionally participated in triathlon races for the past five years, but I had never prepared so much as I did for the Philly Tri Olympic distance this year. This race marked my new commitment to the sport. I was no longer happy to finish. I was striving for personal best and to be competitive in my age group.
I spent the last five years working on my swimming skills, and lately my focus had been on long distance freestyle. I upgraded my bike from and old steel frame bike to a custom-fit Felt triathlon bike. I learned how to use bike shoes with cleats and to sit in the aero bar position. I attended spinning classes. I had regular brick workouts (swim/bike; bike/run; run/swim).
I felt ready entering the race. I packed my transition bag the day before the race. All my race-day nutrition packs hydration bottles were filled and ready. I got up at 4 and biked to 3 miles to the transition area. Found my friend Linda, who was race volunteer, to body-mark me (with my race number and age). Set up my transition area and quickly got on the yellow school bus to the start of the swim. I left so quickly that I forgot to remember the isle number of my bike rack (mistake #1).
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Swim – Water temperature was at 80.5F so the swim was not wetsuit legal. I was bummed that I didn’t get to wear my new fancy wetsuit, but swimming in my fabric onesie suit was fine with me. I was confident with my swim so I went in the water to line up near the front, while many guys in my age group stayed on the dock until the absolute last second. The Schuylkill River water was muddy but free of debris. There were quite a few body contacts at the start, but everyone seemed to find a spot after 5 minutes. A handful of fast swimmers passed me, while I stayed with the purple caps of my wave, and passed a bunch of yellow caps from the previous wave. I swam mostly freestyle, and some breasttroke while catching a breath and sighting. Since I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit, I decided that bilateral breathing could wait. My swim was relaxed but I think I paused too many times to sight (mistake #2)
T1 – Coming out of the water, I felt strong and started running immediately. I kept my purple cap on for my support crew to spot me. Since I didn’t know my bike rack number (see mistake #1), I was running back and forth until I saw my partner standing outside of the transition area directly behind my bike rack. Score for the support crew! Putting my bike shoes on was easy, but putting my bike gloves took nearly a minute (mistake #3). Once I was ready to run my bike out of the transition area, I was blocked by a few people who were leisurely walking their bikes while blocking my exit. At the bike mount area, I struggled a little bit to get going, as my bike shoes couldn’t click in right away (mistake #4).
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Bike – Once I got comfortable on my bike, I tore up a pack of PowerBar gel, and managed to spill gooey stuff on my left aero bar armrest (mistake #5). It was sticky that I had to literally yank my left arm out when I needed to be out of the aero position. This situation also made me less likely to be in the aero position and probably slowed me down a bit. I biked well, and past a bunch of people, especially going up hill! I was amazed! Yay to my tri bike and bike shoes! I knew I would have a good race when I completed the first loop of the bike course and still felt strong. My legs were a little sore climbing hills on the second loop but I didn’t slow down much. I did have to slow down to reach for my hydration bottle (mistake #6) and to maintain control while descending (mistake #7).
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T2 – The bike dismount area appeared so unexpectedly after a descent and sharp turn, I wasn’t prepared to dismount (mistake #8). I struggled a little bit to get off the bike. I needed an extra 30 seconds to find my transition area (see mistake #1). Once I put away my bike, I quickly switched shoes and off I went.
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Run – I wasn’t cramping but I didn’t start out very fast. I didn’t have a watch on me so I couldn’t tell my pace (mistake #9). I felt stronger after the first turnaround, and started to increase my pace. My college dormmate Roper was still right behind me. I knew I was a stronger runner so I kept pushing through. I could feel blisters forming on my feet because I decided to skip socks on my Newton running shoes during the race without any prior practice (mistake #10).
I also saw a fast runner on my swim team. His wave started 30 minutes after mine, and 2 miles into the run, he was only about 15 minutes behind me. I thought he had already passed me on the bike, but since he was still 15 minutes behind me, I was in a good position for a personal best. I finally left Roper behind at the second turnaround, and determined not to let the young Fins pass me. With one mile left to go, I started to kick harder. My last mile probably was under 7 minutes.
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Final: 2 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds
Overall: 458 / 1547
Gender Place: 369 / 1088
Division Place: 61 / 171
Swim: 00:30:00 (729th overall; 2:00 minutes per 100 meters)
T1: 00:02:46
Bike: 01:18:26 (662nd overall; 18.9 mph)
T2: 00:02:22
Run: 00:47:45 (294th overall; 7:42 minutes per mile)
It was a good race for me. It was a new beginning. I’ve got work to do so I won’t repeat my 10 mistakes in future races. This is the link to race photos taken by my partner!i=1937060043&k=gpWjWNF

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